Yes, I Have Changed

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Chronic pain and I have been well acquainted for about a decade now. I’m not happy with that at all. I’d like to kick its sorry ass to the curb.

I try my damnedest to put on a brave face, to smile around others; to not allow pain to ruin my life but I’ve been unsuccessful. Sure, in the beginning, it was easy. In the beginning, the pain wasn’t constant and didn’t reverberate throughout my entire body.

I’m writing this not for sympathy but for understanding. So many people don’t understand what it’s like to live with constant debilitating pain. They don’t know what it’s like to not be able to do the simplest of tasks; the tasks you once did when you were younger or before the pain took over your body. They have no idea how difficult life is for a person with chronic pain.

I’m not lazy. I’m in too much pain to do chores like you. I’m not unsociable. I just can’t put on a brave face or a smile and enjoy someone’s company most days. It’s not that I don’t want to see my friends or family, I’m just in too much pain. Pain is exhausting! I do care, more than you will ever know but most days, I get out of bed and do only what I MUST do, like shower, do a load of laundry, or fix something to eat. I only leave the house to do what MUST be done like pick up groceries, go to the doctor or some other appointment. Once a week Dad likes to go out and eat. I go with him because it’s the only thing HE does or WANTS to do these days. He’s not going to be around forever. He’s going to be 83 years old in February. I want him to do the things he likes to do, even if it kills me.

I just can’t be the person I used to be. Pain has changed me. Chronic pain affects your mental health, changes your moods, behaviors, the way you interact with people, and even your personality. People try to help with their sure-fire remedies but they don’t understand. They think you’re not trying to get better or not doing anything to help yourself. You stop socializing. Family retreats because they can’t help you or don’t know what to say. You become more and more isolated, from friends, loved ones…and LIFE. You’re now saddled with not just pain, but loneliness and sadness. You feel unnecessary. Your life is not what you envisioned it to be. You can’t really see a future for yourself.

I hope that if you know someone who suffers from a chronic illness, that you might be a little more understanding of their situation. Offer to help with chores. Let them know they’re necessary and important to you. Understand that they do care about YOU. Make them laugh with a funny story. Help them feel that they matter. Help them to feel less isolated and lonely.

As I mentioned before, I’m not writing this for sympathy. Writing helps me – like meditation might help someone else. I write to convey a message, or just to get things off my chest. Sometimes, I can connect with others in similar situations and maybe offer moral support. I’m thankful for all those people who help or have helped me in the past, be it moral support or something else.

10 Things I’ve Never Told You & You Probably Don’t Care! Ha!

I’ve been having a bit of a writer’s block the last few weeks. I don’t have an explanation for that other than I’ve just had my mind elsewhere. I’ve been crocheting like a mad-woman and that has taken up a LOT of my time! I will have a WIP (Work-In-Progress) to share, possibly tomorrow. Other than that, my pain level prevents me from doing much of anything. I’ve started my Christmas list already and have a few things (WIPs) in the making or finished.

I know I need to work on my novel (Spike) and I still have much to say in my Ex-Files series, but I’m just…I don’t know. I have no motivation at the moment to write, I guess. I’m trying to kick my own butt into gear, though, and decided it was time for a post about me (ugh, how boring!) and I came up with a few things about me that I may have never mentioned before. So, here goes nothing…

  • I used to be able to pick up a wet bar of soap in the shower with only my toes. Weird, huh?

  • When I was in my 20’s I could very easily do an awesome impression of Robert Plant. I didn’t look like him, but I sure as hell could sound like him! Everyone was so amazed that I was constantly asked to ‘perform’ at parties.

  • When I was around 16 years old, I took photos of photos in magazines of rock stars on stage and had them printed so that I could pass them off as my own concert photos! Shame on me!

  • My favorite shows when I was in Elementary School were H.R. Pufnstuf, Lost in Space, Gilligan’s Island, Dark Shadows, The Monkees, and The Partridge Family.

  • My mom smacked me in the face once when I was about 8. I will never forget it. She had brought a dog home that an old man was trying to find a home for. He couldn’t keep the dog in his new apartment. He was a big Dalmation-looking dog and his name was Zero. He was a very calm and loving dog. My dad wouldn’t let us keep him and it was very upsetting to my little 8-year-old self and I was hysterical (as my mom called it) so she slapped me across the face.

  • Once a wasp literally ran into my face while buzzing through the house and stung the shit out of me. My left cheek was swollen for days! I made up a multitude of swear words because it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch!

  • I skipped half of my Senior year of high school and still passed my classes and graduated with my classmates. When asked by my counselor how I managed to pass, I told him, “I did all the work I missed, any homework assigned, and I turned in some extra credit assignments. I’m not an idiot, you know.” He was amazed! I was bored with my classes and couldn’t care less about sitting there for 45 minutes, each class, day after day after day!

  • One of my ex’s aunts had a lazy eye and she made me nervous because there were times I couldn’t tell if she was talking to me or someone else! I eventually got used to it and I learned which eye was ‘talking’ to me.

  • I have a 6-pack of Coca-Cola Classic from the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA. This was back when sodas were still put in glass bottles. I wonder if it’s still good to drink?

  • When I worked as a CNA/CMT in a Nursing Home, an elderly woman slugged me in the right ear. She was a BIG woman, with a powerful punch. It hurt like a you-know-what and I may have said a few swear words to keep myself from punching her in the face. I knew that wouldn’t be the right thing to do, but it sure would have given me some satisfaction!

 

So, there you have it. A few more boring things about me that you really didn’t care to know. Haha. It’s funny the things you start remembering when you put your mind to it.

Friday’s Funnies – My Faves This Week

I’ve been away from the computer for most of the last week. It was a surprise to receive a few emails from other bloggers wondering if I was ok! Yes, I’m ok, and thank you for worrying about me. I’m just emotionally drained. Aside from my own aches and pains, doctor visits, and other “shtuff” I have just been overwhelmed with thoughts of sadness for those who have suffered terrible losses from the fires in California, some are friends of mine. The death toll is now a state-wide 66, with 631 missing persons. 52,000 people have been displaced. In Butte County alone, 142,000 acres have been burned, with just under 12,000 structures totally destroyed by the blaze. I read that some people were burned alive in their cars while trying to escape. Injured pets have been found and have been in shelters waiting to be reunited with their families. It has been weighing on me so heavily this week because there’s nothing I can do. Nothing except pray…and that I keep doing. 

So, in trying to lift myself back up instead of letting the sadness totally drag me under, I’ll try my damnedest to get back on track. That starts with this week’s Friday’s Funnies. Thanks for missing me (even if you didn’t, lol) and thanks for reading my blog. I do appreciate it. 

Enjoy!

Poor Dave…
They just had no idea, did they?
I love the 3 Stooges!
I just want to go up to them and pull their pants up!
Yummy!
Or a film about killer tomatoes!
Don’t be like Bob.
I play this game nearly every morning.
Who finds this stuff?
Best animal photo bomb ever!
Oopsie!
Evil child, lol.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will do my best to blog more regularly, and I’ll keep praying for everyone affected by the California fires.

Emotions

I have been trying to write all week. I just can’t seem to focus. I’m feeling overwhelmed with grief, sadness, depression, worry, gratefulness, and so many other emotions lately. It’s hard to concentrate when so many things are going through your mind, constantly.

Depression is probably my biggest enemy this week. Since my pain level has been so high, I’ve had a hard time getting around. It seems that it won’t be long and I won’t be able to walk at all. Then what happens? I try not to think about it. It doesn’t seem to matter to the doctors I’ve seen. They just don’t seem to understand the gravity of my situation. They see my situation on paper, Xrays, MRI’s, etc., but they don’t see ME.

I am still grieving the life I once had. The life that I should have had after my kids were grown has changed into a life of chronic pain, depression, and mobility issues. Not too long ago, I started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I was finally going to get some help. That idea was shattered like always.

I do have things in my life to be happy about and wonderful things to be grateful for. It’s hard to see those things sometimes because when you’re in constant pain, it over-rides everything. Your world seems to be THE PAIN. Everything you do revolves around THE PAIN. Getting groceries, going out with friends, hanging out with family, spending time with the grandkids….all revolve around the pain level of the day.

I’m very grateful to my friends and family who are praying for me. My circle is small but at least I know who my real friends are. Some of those friends are people I have never met but I trust them more than most people. They are not just friends; they are family and very close to my heart.

Only my friends and family who have chronic illnesses truly understand how difficult life can be. They understand how sadness can overcome you. They understand how much you want to do something and they know why you can’t. Those who do not suffer from a chronic illness have no idea how hard it is to stay positive — but yet they tell me to “Stay positive” all the time. Maybe it’s because they don’t know what else to say, but I wish they wouldn’t say anything at all. I know they mean well, so I don’t hold it against them.

All I can do at the moment is hope that next week is better.